LIKES and dislikes for cycling in the county are being collated as part of a survey hoped to form part of a council commitment to making Oxfordshire healthier to live.

Residents are being urged to take part in the online survey noting good and bad things about cycling, and any problem areas in the county.

Feedback will help Oxfordshire County Council draw up the first ‘Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans’ in a bid to create a better cycling network across the county.

It comes ahead of Thursday’s Cycle to Work day campaign willing people to ditch their four wheels for two.

Oxfordshire County Council cabinet member for the environment Yvonne Constance said: “We are committed to encouraging active, healthy and sustainable modes of travel, such as cycling, which benefit everybody by helping to reduce air pollution, noise pollution and greenhouse gases.

“Additional benefits for those who move actively as part of their everyday routine include improved physical and mental health, with associated benefits of increased productivity and reduced sickness absence.

“Encouraging active travel is an integral part of Oxfordshire Growth Board’s and Oxfordshire Health and Wellbeing Board’s shared priorities to create healthy places and address the climate emergency.”

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The plan will identify preferred routes and priority areas for further development and improvements over the next 10 years - dependent on government funding.

Proposals for Bicester, Didcot, and Oxford will be drawn up over the next 18 months. Walking and cycling plans for other parts of Oxfordshire will be considered through the county council’s Local Transport and Connectivity Plan.

The council says work is already being done to build housing developments which are already well connected for people travelling by foot and bike.

County Council cycling champion Suzanne Bartington said the ambition was to make cycling and walking natural choices for shorter journeys.

She added: “We need to know what will help people ride their bikes – whether they prefer more direct on-road routes or protected off-road routes and which factors affect their choices about where to cycle.

“This survey will also help us to identify those real problem hotspots – where people have had near misses, close passes, obstructions which have made it difficult to cycle. We can then prioritise these for improvements.”

Oxfordshire County Council said research currently shows around 40 per cent of adults in Oxford cycle at least weekly, with around 300,000 cycle trips made in Oxford every week and another 150,000 cycle trips in the rest of Oxfordshire.

It also said work has already started in a number of areas to better cycling routes around the county including a new £360,000 cycle path at Backhill Tunnel in Park Drive, Milton, and a network of new signage in Bicester ‘the wayfinding project’ encouraging people to walk and cycle.

Cherwell District Council cycling champion and Bicester town mayor Jason Slaymaker said: “It’s very important that Cherwell has a good working partnership with the county council to enable us to work together on cycling projects that benefit the district’s residents.

“The new cycle link between Elmsbrook and Bure Park enables people to cycle into town without having to go on the road. It’s great because it enables residents to access facilities more freely.”

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Oxfordshire County Council has also ploughed £1.8m into improvements of a 2.4mile stretch of the Thames Path in Oxford. It has been widened up to three metres where possible and resurfaced between Hinksey Stream and Friars Wharf.

Oxford City Council cycling champion Cllr Louise Upton said: “It’s vital for us to work with the county council as the transport authority and there have been some really good examples of best practices.

“I love the new riverside route. If the towpath is part of your commute to work it’s absolutely gorgeous. I’m really delighted that the county council has resurfaced it like this.”

Further improvements for cycling and pedestrian routes through the county will stem from the sruvey which runs up to September 6.

People are being urged to go or to contact for more details